Rossies redux

I’ve been away the last few days so my activity on here has been a bit sparse as a result. I’m back now, however, and, with our next All-Ireland SFC Group Stage match hurtling rapidly towards us, it’s time to put a bit of heat under the pot once more.

The county’s next Championship outing is on Saturday, where Roscommon provide the opposition at Dr Hyde Park for a Round 2 clash in Group 2. Barry Cassidy of Derry is the ref for a match that throws in at the Roscommon venue at 5pm that evening. The game’s live on GAA GO and Midwest will also have live radio commentary on it.

For the first time since 2017, on Saturday we’ll be facing the Rossies twice in the same Championship campaign. Those two meetings seven years ago, drawn and replayed games in the All-Ireland quarter-final, were played at the same venue – Croke Park – and our meeting on Saturday also takes place at the same ground in which we played last month, in this instance the venue being Hyde Park.

Another similarity with 2017 is that, prior to those Championship meetings, we’d also played them earlier in the year in the National League, which we did this year too. A similar outcome to our third face-off with them seven years ago, when we obliterated them by a margin of twenty-two points, would go down very nicely from our perspective this time round. That, however, is a rather far-fetched notion.

We’ve beaten them the two times we played them this year. In Round 5 of the National League at the start of March we had six points to spare over them at Castlebar while the margin of victory was five points when we met in the baking heat at their gaff five weeks ago.

Since we played them in the Connacht semi-final they were then kicking their heels until last weekend, waiting for their opening round fixture in the All-Ireland SFC Group Stage. That game against Dublin was played on Saturday at a near-deserted Croke Park where the Rossies stuck with the All-Ireland champions for much of the game, only to ship two late goals and so fall to a double-digit loss.

That means that Saturday’s game is, to all intents and purposes, a must-win one for them, though it’s arguably the same for us.

If we win then we’re definitely in the preliminary quarter-final and could advance directly to the final eight if we top Group 2 by beating Dublin in our final group game. If they win then a victory over Cavan in the final round would almost certainly mean they’d finish second and so claim a home preliminary quarter-final.

The most likely outcome is that we’ll both end up beating Cavan and losing to the Dubs, in which case we’ll both advance to the preliminary quarter-final stage, with Saturday’s winners (if there is one – it could, of course, end all-square) claiming the slightly more advantageous second spot in the table.

It’s been claimed here and elsewhere that it might prove a stretch for us to beat them again on Saturday, as this would mean three victories for us over them this year. I’m not sure I follow the logic of this argument – if we’ve been able to get the better of them on two occasions in recent months, then why shouldn’t we prove capable of doing so again?

The bookies aren’t buying that argument about it being a struggle for us to complete a hat-trick of wins this year over them. That said, we’re only narrow favourites to do the business in this one and so it wouldn’t exactly be a shock of seismic proportions should we fail to do so.

Let’s finish, then, with the usual pre-match poll. How do you think Saturday’s game will go? It’s time to vote on that.

How will we do against Roscommon?

  • Win (71%, 707 Votes)
  • Lose (22%, 217 Votes)
  • Draw (7%, 66 Votes)

Total Voters: 990

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46 thoughts on “Rossies redux

  1. Thought the Rossies had improved the last day against Dublin from when we played them last. I hope we start all of Aiden, Cillian and Ryan up front. Murtagh Cox McHugh played well the last day so need to be planned for particularly Murtagh who is having a great run at the minute. Hopefully Mayo can cut loose and win by 6 or 7

  2. Think Rossies put up a really strong display against the Dubs. We will need to improve on Cavan performance to beat them in The Hyde. This is going to be a real challenge so hopefully we are ready for it!

  3. @JR I don’t think Dubs where out of 3rd gear for most of that match only right up until the last quarter when they needed to step it up they rolled out the bench and into 1st gear and where gone out of sight.

    Be a hard one but I think it’ll mayos 3rd win over the rossies this year. Cillian has to be a starter along with Ryan O D and Tommy C.

  4. @Mayoman: Highly unlikely we’ll hear anything before tomorrow week, Tuesday 4th (going on the announcement of neutral venues last year), with plenty of chatter/rumours between now and then that’ll likely be fairly hit-and-miss at best.

  5. @ Mayo man don’t be surprised if it is Roscommon.
    Chairman of CCC a Ros man.
    New stand etc.
    Galway wanted to play Armagh in Croker park so county board right to come out against it, possible double header.
    You can read between the lines of McMahons article that Dublin also wanted it.

  6. Interesting that it’s general admission €25 ,the next day.

    The stand is ‘ first come first served’ it looks like, unless anyone as heard anything else

  7. @JR if I was to take a guess I’d say it was more Dublin not getting to the pace of things. However I will say that Louth have looked impressive since Ger Brennan took over. Have had a very solid year.

  8. Don’t agree with the logic of this argument either Willie and especially when you take into account the scheduling advantage Mayo have for this game on Saturday. Last team Roscommon probably needed to be playing with a 7 day turnaround was Dublin in Croke Park and then having to face their neighbours with a week to rest and prep for this game.

  9. I have to agree with Mayomagic there. Rossies will be tired after a big effort with Dublin in Croke Park for 65 mins and after that you could see they were gassed. Make no mistake that Mayo are targeting this one big time. We’ve had two weeks and it’s not as if Cavan really stretched us the last time out either. Huge shock and a damning indightment of McStay and co if we don’t get this one wrapped by the 60th minute.

  10. Roscommon played quite well v Dublin last week. They hung in for around 60 minutes which was longer than we managed last year v Dublin. Inside forward line was very good in contrast to how they played against us last month when they were very wasteful. I was surprised they didn’t play Cox against us because he knows where the posts are. Should be an interesting game on Saturday as both need to win, if only to get home advantage in preliminary quarter final. While I know we shouldn’t be talking about Mayo v Dublin yet, The Hyde would be a good venue. Excellent pitch and with the crowds we both have been getting this year, the capacity should be ok. And Philly will get a day out down in the country. Winners all around.

  11. I agree with Thedarkyfinn that Aidan,Ryan and Cillian should play up front. I’d have Tommy running from half forward. Would also like to see Pádraig O Hora starting in defence. He could do a job on Murtagh.
    Anyway best of luck to them all on Saturday. Unfortunately I can’t make any matches this year so I’m happy to have them on GAAGO.

  12. Looks like first come first served, possibly might improve ticket sales.
    Credit to Rossies, they stayed with Dubs until they unleashed their bench.
    I would not be sure of Tommy C on half forward line but probably worth a try. Not sure he has defensive qualities required from half forwards. One thing he definitely needs is early ball and one on one situations in space. The long ball up to AOS and the quick lay off comes to mind.
    I’m expecting Tommy to answer his critics, he’s just too good a footballer.

  13. Dublin in 2nd gear beat Roscommon by 12 points. Hard to see how Roscommon have improved on that showing. Mayo should beat Ross fairly easily I’d imagine. The extra week off is a great advantage for Mayo. Ross might save themselves for a crack at Cavan too.

  14. Rossies seemed to tire a bit against us and then the dubs. Cox had his best outing in a while but the forwards did tire. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was held till the 2nd half. They set up very well against Dubs and used the sweeper well on con early on. I really hope our management watched that. We can’t go man to man against Dubs so who not try sweeper against a good FF line the next day. Leave space up top for TC…
    Few fellas improving as we go, few more need to improve now… I don’t like naming people personally but I think we all agree we need to be getting more scores from outside the D.
    It’s a big game… Rossies won’t want to go to last game with no points and for us a win would mean a chance to have a cut off the tourists…

  15. Ontheditch Agreed – exactly what I was thinking. The only problem is our management have to complicate things with intricate systems or ideas. Then they try and program the players. Instead they should look at the players they have and play to their strengths. I once read a coaching manual where every top soccer coach in Italy like Ancellotti, Conte etc have to go and the main point is “You play with what you have got” and devise your system and style to suit that. Instead we seem to have the same system as Donegal last year which didn’t suit them nor does it suit us.

  16. What we learned from the Rossies game is nothing we didn’t already know about them.

    – they have loads of quality on inside forward line, cox murtagh and Cregg all impressed
    – they have been fading badly in games in 4th quarter,don’t seem to have much of a bench
    – Enda Smith seems to still be in a bit of a funk form wise,he cant seem to find his form from last year tho Donncha mchugh will surely get the gig there again

    The extra weeks rest is huge at this stage, especially with the Cavan game being fairly stress free, so all things considered I would expect a similar outcome to the first game in the Hyde, ie a 5 point win for Mayo

    Mayo 1-14 Rassies 0-12

  17. Also some say rossies managed better against the dubs then we did last year you can’t really compare that to be honest…

    Dubs didn’t look bothered for most of the game v Rossies. And when they did need win they were out of sight in a quarter of an hour.

    When we got hammered by dubs in quarters last year they were do or die mode you can’t compare the 2 and we did beat the dubs in league Ok we were lucky to beat the dubs in league probably but we still did it.

    If we don’t beat rossies after a 2 week break when they got hammered by the dubs I’d be seriously worried for us going forward if I’m honest.

    Mayo by 5 or so.

  18. Will need some goals here to put this to bed early, hoping our sharpness has improved from the Cavan game.
    Should have the legs on them with the extra week to prepare.
    Roll on Saturday 5pm. Mayo by 7.

  19. It’s hilarious when Roscommon match Dublin for part of the game and then get blown out of the water the narrative is “fair play” and “credit to them”.

    If Mayo matched Dublin for 70 minutes and lost by 1 point the narrative would be we are bottlers and just not good enough.

    Roscommon were well beaten and were behind Dublin from the first minute until the last. They kept it to a one score game until the last 20 then Dublin turned up the gears.

    It’s hard to see how they will have improved much for this weekend and one would expect Mayo to pull away down the home stretch.

  20. I expect a Mayo win and, actually I feel quite optimistic about where we find ourselves, in the bigger scheme of things. Looking at this game in isolation firstly, I don’t think Ross match up with us athletically and I think they know that. We should have been home and hosed in the connacht semi and I think there are learnings from that that we can take into this one. I’m also unsure if their manager has the full backing of their squad. He threw them under the bus enough times this year and I’ve found him to be a bit naive at times in how forthright he has been in criticising his own players. Finally, as has already been mentioned on here, the 2 week v 1 week turnaround has proven to be fairly decisive time and again, in this new format. On that basis, I expect Mayo to win with a bit to spare. And then, we’re potentially into a free shot at Dublin, hopefully at a neutral venue, with v little expectation? I think McStay and the brains trust will be delighted with how under the radar we could potentially be, in advance of that prospect. Onward

  21. On the basis of the league and championship wins against the rossies then mayo would appear to be a 3 to 5 point better team and that’s probably roughly how it will end up.This time last year it was hard to imagine that Galway Donegal and Derry would all be ahead of us in the betting stakes.when were we last out at 16/1

  22. I’m quite happy for Mayo to be rank outsiders at this stage. I don’t think Galway are as good as people are making out and, by the same same token, I don’t think we’re as far off as people seem to think. I think Kerry and Dublin are rightly considered ahead of the chasing pack. Donegal looked good against a rebuilding Tyrone but I wouldn’t fear having a crack off them at all, in fact I’d relish it. If Derry can turn it around and top their group, they’ll be a nightmare for anyone to play against but I think they may have put too much into winning the league? Time will tell. There’s v little to separate the teams below the top two and I’d much prefer for Mayo to tip along, for as long as they can, with as little hype as possible.

  23. Game week and.looking forward to this one , not especially the opposition as they do what they do but to see our boys run out again .

    I actually think we can afford to put Mchugh on Murtagh and manage Smyth out the field .
    If we can hold murtagh, turn him over a time or two then we will dampen the crowd.
    Murtagh is the catalyst of all things good and that extra quality but can be stopped, do it and you restrict rossies big time .

    Diarmuid will be the difference from the previous game but hopefully we have a bit of fluidity in the half forwards too.
    Honestly want to see freer players at 10 and 12 and wouldn’t mind seeing Eoghan or Hession in half forwards to add break winning ability but counerattacking pace.
    Loftus is another option and then down to the dependancy of Mchale putting in consistent performances. He won’t have space he had last time and will get more abuse so be interested to see how he copes with that.

    Fullforward line probably be same as v cavan and get an impact out of AOS off bench.
    I think this is game Tommy will break free and that the talk of Cillian returning and ROD on form means he can exploit the space they boys will integellently make.

    We will beat them but to make task easier shutting down Murtagh and controlling breaks is the main focus

  24. If this stays true to form it will be less of a Rossies redux and more like a Rossies recession. They’ll be awkward and annoying as usual but if we run at them in the second half we should have enough. They’re a fading force and if we dont do the business down the home stretch then we’ll have only gone and beaten ourselves.

  25. We went from ten / twelve to one out to 16s with the news of paddys injury .

  26. Folks, I think the Rossies were seriously good for most of that match versus Dublin at the weekend. The game was played at full tilt, no blanket defences in evidence from what I saw and the scores were impressive, fast and from various angles. I thought that they had improved from looking at the TV coverage (admittedly it was the highlights on the Saturday Game).
    I think they deserve the respect that comes along with that.
    But, I will agree, we would need to be making that extra week rest count. For the Rossies, playing a big game against Mayo 6 days after a high-intensity game against Dublin is incredibly demanding. We know this type of scenario ourselves. This does give an an advantage, I admit.

  27. Dublin are ahead of the rest. Kerry are ahead of no one else in the chasing pack and beatable by any of the other teams

  28. I’ve deleted all those injury rumour comments. As some of you have already acknowledged, this isn’t the place for chat of that kind.

  29. I don’t usually do the team pick text but since Paddy is out I’ve tried to figure how we can try to set up to beat any team…

    I’d have

    1. Reape
    2. Coyne
    3. McBrien
    4. McHugh
    5. Coen
    6. Callinan
    7. Hession
    8. Diarmuid
    9. Mattie
    10. Flynn (as much a midfielder as anything)
    11. Loftus/Aos maybe Boland depending on form.
    12. McLaughlin (deployed as a defensive/middle third player. Retreat back when we don’t have it as in drop deep as soon as we lose possession; run all day/attack when you can; not as a traditional left wing forward)
    13. Rod
    14. Cillian
    15. Tommy but he drops more into a right wing forward role leaving two men inside with lots of runners coming in etc.

    I think the strategy we’ve been employing so far in defence is far, far too open and ‘nice’ so if we continue to defend as we have then we’ve no chance of going deep into the championship. I much prefer the way Galway set up.

    And when I say our defending is off I don’t mean our 6 actual defenders. I mean the structure of our team when not in possession. It’s no where near watertight enough. If NY and Cavan can have multiple goal opportunities, God knows what a better team will do.

    So I’d set up with a standard back 6 but with McLaughlin as a 7th defender (listed as a half forward).

    3 midfielders (because we don’t have an out and out ‘catcher’ so an extra body is required. I’d go with Diarmuid sitting deeper into the half back line when we lose possession or even back as far as full back when required. Mattie with more scope to push forward, altho to communicate with Diarmuid who we know can be excellent in attack too (if only we had two Diarmuid’s!!)


  30. I’d say you are pretty much on the money mayonaze but Mchale deserves his start.
    From the last day v Cavan Jack Carney and Jack Coyne are men under pressure to hold onto shirts .
    And whether that’s Hess to 2 or 7 as u say looks decent outfit but with Mchale at 11 and Loftus coming on .
    We need more mobility and Hess and Eoin in freer roles will help with Mayoball and overlapping

  31. Was at the Rossie match a couple of weeks ago, think AOS, has too start. And think Cillian deserves a start, but have to win, and leave ourselves in best physical condition, so might need to take a few calculated gambles, on who plays or not. However if management miscalculated, we end with egg on face,

  32. Good team @Mayonaze nearly spot on.

    What a boost it would be to have hession back on form someone needs to step up in place of Durcan and I’d nearly bet on hession to do it.

    When hession is on form he’s a class player he’s just been very unlucky with injuries.

  33. The Cavan -Roscommon Match will decide who goes ahead.Next Sunday should be a stroll in The Hyde.The Rossies well beaten by the Dubs won’t have the two week rest.
    And Mayo’s great record in The Hyde won’t be broken.

  34. @Williamstown Gerry: You don’t buy into Davy Burke’s rhetoric? He doesn’t sound too bothered about the Cavan game. He’s all in on this one.

    ““The goal is to beat Mayo and nothing else,“ said Burke. “The goal is to beat Mayo and, as I said, Cavan will come but the goal is to beat Mayo and nothing else. We have to go back and prepare for Mayo and that’s it.” –

  35. @TsuDhoNim

    Yes that’s true Burke did say that it sounds like this is their big one I suppose we should take it as some kind of compliment that they want to beat us that much..

    But the thing is mcstay & Co are aiming for this game big time is well if we loose it will be a disaster it will actually be worse then loosing to them last year I think.

    Some rossies think sure we can’t loose to mayo 3 times in a row but sure how many times did we say that in certain matches….

    This is a massive game for both teams but more so for mayo if we loose it we will never hear the end of it but if we win (which I think we will) it’ll give us such a boost for the dubs.

  36. Jesus Davy burke has really bought into the horn the rossies have for mayo….its comical at times listening/reading to him. God love him!!

  37. @outside the boot, McHale did well the last day but there’ll be far greater tasks than a mediocre Cavan team that never showed up. Agree, Carney will do well to hold a spot particularly given that Diarmuid and Mattie are far ahead of him on form. Just really disappointed with Carney’s progression. Looks low on confidence and energy. I’d be saying the same about Tommy too but the big difference is, Tommy has shown in the past how influecial and positive he can be. Carney hasn’t. Maybe a year playing senior club football might benefit and he’d perhaps benefit too from coming off the bench for Mayo and given a more defined and simpler role because he’s just floating through games and other than the odd flash of potential, he’s just one of the main contributors to crab-football. He’s a big athletic guy but never looks to really aggressively ‘have a go’! Too timid or something.

    Coyne I’m less concerned about. He’s done ok-ish. But not much more. If he was dropped from a starting 15 I don’t think many would have a problem whereas, say if McHugh wasn’t starting or Callinan, there’s be people up in arms and understandably so. Brick didn’t start v Cavan and the general consensus in MacHale Park that day was ‘fair enough’. I said it hear months ago, and I think I was bucking the trend, that I’m more concerned about our defence and our ‘defenders’ than I am our forwards. I’d still be of the same opinion.

  38. Ya agreed I backed Carney during the league and could see some of his presence but since pace been upped in summer it hasn’t suited him . The quartet of Diarmuid, Ruane, Flynn and Loftus offer more athletic options to multitasking as is needed in midfield .

    Carney actually played some of his better football at fullforward under Horan, might be a option to retry him there in certain games but he still can make an impact off bench and closing out a game just not giving us the urgency or accuracy we need to feed the forwards with ball

  39. Looking too far forward is for fools, but a Donegal golfing pal brought up how they’d prefer to meet a fancied Kerry or Dublin side than Mayo later on in the competition. The weight of expectation shifts as the season marches on.

  40. Davy Burkes article is interesting , gives you a look into the roscommon mindset for sure .

  41. Sean burke – I think Davy Burke calling the Dublin game a dead rubber shows his mindset.

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